R. Han

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since Feb 20, 2020
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Recent posts by R. Han

A friend of mine recently started working for a company that builds such houses (Timber frames for the structure, straw bales with clay as walls).

The costs are just around the same as for conventional building... the materials may be cheaper but the amount of manual work offsets that.

As for building it yourself: Sorry you can't

The people who started that company had years of trial&error to build up their knowledge, because when they asked old people for recipies it failed miserably because the soil composition differs from location to location. The other reason why is difficult to build by youself, is that in most climates you have a very slim time-window to finish the job, so you need people to help you.

If you want to build it youself, i highly recommend you to not rely on knowledge from Books and the Internet, but to get in touch with people who offer hands-on workshops so you can gather practical experience before starting you project.
4 weeks ago

Tess Daniels wrote:Maybe just doing all  the business in one bucket isn't such a big deal?

This is exaclty what Jenkins advocates for in his humanure book:

Also when you use his system (you cover everything with sawdust) you can just close the bucket and store it indoors until the weather allows you to go outside to empty the bucket.

Also i personally do not believe in the "Composting toilets" that compost in place... a compost pile should be big(>1m³) and have contact to the ground.
4 weeks ago

M Waisman wrote:. Yes, we have lots of water- in the garden, nearby livestock pens, etc. They are not attracted to the spigot or nearby watering cans, cat's water dish, etc at all

What exactly is your lots of water? The things you listed is water that is changed/used on a daily basis, and are also hard to access for them.
How is a wasp suposed to drink from a watering can? Those usually have smoth surfaces that are aligned at a 90° to the water surface.
Also fresh/regularly changed water sometimes contains clorine...

Do you have something like a small pond? During the summer i sometimes observe 10-20 Wasps at the same time drinking from a sunken 50 gallon plastic pond...be sure to throw in some branches to provide good access to the water (and for animals to get out of the water...a dead rat in a pond is a rather nasty thing).

Do you get my point?

Added y picture of the aforementioned pond:
1 month ago

M Waisman wrote: My son got stung 3 times on his ears and neck just walking through the garden after a sweaty bike ride.

They are clearly looking for water, i guess you do not have any permanent water features, right?

In my experience they get docile when they have enough water.

Once i had a plastic container that i threw my used platic pots into, and they made a nest in one of those pots.
The container would partially fill with water so they were on an island.
They did not even bother when i moved their nest when i took pots out of the container.

So just try to give them enough access to water, and they won't bother your family or your tomatoes anymore.

Please update us here, if that worked out.

PS: You do want yellow jackets in your garden! They are not after you, they are after the mosqitoes!
1 month ago
Hello all,

i have a mediterranean climate (Zone 9a, so i do get frost), and i currently mulch all my beds heavily with hay,
because loss to evaporation during the summer is crazy here (High clay content in soil, so capilry effects pull moisture to the surface).
I am on a slope and during the winter i have strong down downpours (which washed my woodchips away last winter) and also heavy wind
tens to blow stuff away/break plants.

Now as the summer season approaches its end, i have to put something into the beds to keep it all together and pump some exudates into the soil.
As i already mentioned,  I mulch a lot, so direct seeding may work with some legumes, but i feel safer starting those as transplants.
Now transplants are a lot of work compared to direct seeding, so the less transplants i need for a bed, the better.

Ideal characteristics would be:
- requires large spacing in between (so less work to fill a bed)
- grows/photosynthezizes during the winter ( we do get some sunny days with up to 20C°/68F° , but on most days it's cooler)
- can be terminated easily (ideally by cutting the stem) around March/April
- grows a lot of biomass
- provide a usable crop (tough this is low priority for me)
- They are not in the family of Brassica or Amaranthaceae (because of crop roation)

What comes to my mind are plants like : Buckwhat, Rye, Barley, Fava beans, Peas. I still lack experience, this is my 2nd year grwoing annuals, and so far i am not very successful, so i ask you for help.

To keep this more formal, it would be really cool if we could put the anwers in table like this one:

Plant nameSpacing (in cm)Winter Activity (0 = doesn't grow; 10 = grows excellent)Terminationbiomass production (0 = almost none; 10= a lot)Usable Crop?

I will update this first post with your answers, so that at the end we hopefully have a good overview of plants that are suitable to be used as transplanted cover crops for mild winter regions.
1 month ago

Abraham Palma wrote:
In what conditions does the clubroot prosper? How can these conditions be prevented? What outcompetes it? How can it be promoted?

I tried some research on that topic, the only thing i found is that acidic soild favours clubroot, whereas alkaline soil somewhat inhibits it.
Also warm wheather favours the patogen, so one should plant them as overwintering crops rather than summer crops.
(makes sense anyway, because there are so many other things to grow during summer, while winter veggies are almost excusively brassicas)

Also there are some brassica cultivars (conventially bred, not GMO) that have resistence agaist clubroot, however the intensive usage of those resisent cultivars on clubroot infested land led to the emergence of new clubroot strains that can infect the resistent cultivars.

1 month ago
Hi all,

most books on permaculture do not even mention crop rotation (in the sense of not planting annauls of the same family on the same bed for a couple of years).

Some practices - like not even having divided beds/blocks but instead just putting plants where a gap appears - seem to make crop rotation virtually impossible.

Permaculture is about observation, and I observe that many gardeneres in the mediterrean plant their winter brassicas in the same beds every year,
on the other hand farmers have developed crop rotation based on observation/insights obtained by several generations,
and those conclusions made it into the conventional gardening/farming books.

When asking other permaculture people IRL about crop rotation, they say that they don't really care about it.
They also bring up examples where people have been successfully ingoring crop rotation rules for decades,
because everything will be fine if you put enough compost on the beds every season.
While this argument seems feasable for nutrients, it is the diseases that are concerning me.

Let me elobarotae with the example of Clubroot( Plasmodiophora brassicae ). If someone plants brassicas on the same spot for 2 decades
and finds his plants free of  Clubroot, i cannot take this as a proof that you can plant brassicas in this way without risking loosing your crop and infesting the soil with clubroot.
My argument is, that if there is no clubroot spores, it will not manifest out of nowhere, no matter what you do.
So if someone wanted to prove to me that just by using sufficent compost you can circumvent the clubroot problem,
he would need to inoculate the soil with clubroot and keep growing.

Now my question is, has anyone ever done such an expermient?

My focus/issues with crop rotation centers around brassicas because they seem to be the staple annual vegetable in the temperate climate
especially during the colder season  (Don't forget Turnips are brassicas , they used to fill the niche potatoes took over) and most of the profitable market gardet crops are brassicas too (Asia salad, arugula, radishes just to name a few).
1 month ago

Dave Pennington wrote:
Would love to see them succeed,

Me too. Their ideas sound good.
(Except for their plan to irrigate everthing with well-water, even filling the ponds with well water. This is just not sustainable.)

But asking for 7.5 mio $ without a business plan is something i would expect from a bunch of unexperienced teens,
but those people behind the project look experienced enough to do it properly, so i am wondering why they are not doing a proper transparent campaign?

They need to be open with how munch from the money that they make with selling the plots goes into the community projects,
and how they want to ensure that said community infrastrucutre will be maintained after everyone put down their initial payment.

1 year ago
I just see red flags:
- The way the initial post is written
- the lack of information on the linked website
- obvious usage of stock photos on the videos the website has
- no Photos of what is actually happening there
- the implication that things exist, that are just planned

Biggest red flag is probablby the price. 30k for 2 acres of desert and the promise that there will be a community.
It just screams scam at me.

Not the type of scam where someone takes your money and gives you nothing, but the type of scam where you find yourself on barren plot in the desert.

I mean what do the people get for their 30k?

The guy probably paid 30k for all plots together and now subdivides and sells with an image of a community that will probably never exist.

I tend to be pessimistic, so proove me wrong.
1 year ago